More and more people are mixing in the box, choosing to use their software mixer over the hardware kind. While fast and convenient, there are some niceties missing from software DAW mixers that make studio work go smoothly. Namely, speaker switching, source switching, talkback, a physical master volume control, etc. Mackie has addressed all of this and more with itï¿½s Big Knob Studio Command System.
The Big Knob is a solid feeling tabletop unit, painted in the black and greys of Mackieï¿½s new Onyx series mixers. Prominent in the center of this unit is of course the Big Knob, which controls the master volume level sent to the various outputs. And outputs there are, three selectable speakers outputs, A and B 2-Track outs, Daw output, Phones amp, and Studio, all in stereo of course. The monitor and studio outputs have a trim pot that adjusts from -10 to +4, and the rest have a -10/+4 switch. Inputs consist of a DAW phones input, 2-Track A and B, DAW mix, and Phono on RCA connectors. All in stereo of course and with level adjust from -10 to +4. Thereï¿½s also a talkback footswitch, a handy addition.
Now to the fun part, the front panel. In addition to the big knob, there are numerous controls, well laid out and spaced (not crowded, nice for those with big fingers). There are input source select and monitor select switches of course, along with switches for mono, mute and dim. Also featured is a talkback volume control, and talkback can be sent to the 2-track outs or to phones/studio. The studio outs have their own volume control and can be switched in and out independently of the monitor outs. There are two headphone outs, each with their own volume control.
The Big knob also features a phono preamp for turntable connection. The Big Knob will retail for $385 and be available at the end of March.